Difference in Calibers

Discussion in 'Ammo & Reloading' started by threetango, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. threetango

    threetango Moderator Moderator

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    Found this and thought it was interesting.

    The difference between calibers is in the recoil from each gun. Recoil is the interaction between the bullet weight, velocity, and the weight of the gun - and to some extent, the ergonomics of the grip. Recoil has two components - the amount of energy measured in foot pounds pushing back against your grip on the pistol (one hand, or two hands), and the second is the velocity of the recoil impulse measured in feet per second (FPS).

    As an example, a .40 caliber round with a 165 grain bullet with a velocity of 1080 FPS in a 1.5 lb gun will have a recoil of 9.3 ft pounds, and a recoil velocity of 19.9 FPS.

    A 45 ACP with a 230 grain bullet at 930 FPS would have 8.2 ft lbs of recoil energy and a recoil velocity of 13.8 FPS in a 2.75 lb gun.

    A 124 grain bullet 9mm round with a velocity of 1125 FPS would have 6.0 ft pounds of engery and a recoil velocity of 16 FPS in a 1.5 lb gun.

    While the same cartridge in a 2.0 lb gun would generate 4.4 ft pounds of recoil at a velocity of 11.9 fps.

    As shown, with a heavier pistol the recoil (ft pounds of energy and recoil velocity) will be reduced - so you have to decide what size /weight of pistol you're going to match with the round.

    Recoil greatly influences follow up shots speed and accuracy.

    In general, .40 caliber has more recoil and a higher recoil velocity. Your follow up shots will be a little more difficult unless you practice a lot or use a gun with the weight and grip ergonomics to help better control the recoil.

    The 9mm, .40, and .45 ACP will provide more than enough stopping power, with the capability to carry more rounds going to the 9mm and .40 - if that is an important consideration for you.

    Buckhorn